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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Monday, April 23, 2001

Peak employees don't need union; wages, health plan already good

I've been working in the trade of being a welder-fabricator for the last 28 years. I've worked for several companies over these past years, which gave me a whole variety of experience, not only in the trade, but also with management.

I've also belonged to three different unions in the past; none of these unions ever benefited me in any way.

My wages were always compatible with nonunion companies, my health and other benefits were nothing to write home about. But the unions always did want their dues money, whether you worked or not, then came penalties and fines if dues couldn't be met. Those unions never cared about the individual, all they wanted was the money to keep the union business going.

By the way, these three union companies I've worked for in the past no longer exist, because the union demands put them out of business!

I now work with Peak Oilfield Services Co.

The open door policy Peak has is one of the finest I've ever seen. Any subject brought up is not ignored. This is part of what made Peak the third largest company in the state.

You can see why the unions are trying to get into Peak's employees' pockets; that's close to a million dollars a year in dues. The unions so- called promises -- "to get us better wages and benefits" -- are nothing but hear-say!

Peak already has one of the finest 401K plans in the state and a good health plan and insurance plan; it always looked after a fair deal to upgrade its employees' benefits.

I would like to remain working for Peak as a nonunion company for many years to come.

When you vote (please do vote) on the upcoming ballots, vote neither/no to keep the unions out of our pockets and future.

Michael Lund, general foreman

Sterling

Far from being depressing, hospice volunteer work fulfilling experience

This week is National Volunteer Week. It's a week set every year since 1974 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of the thousands of men and women in this country who volunteer their time and energies to help others. Nationwide more than 150,000 volunteers provide over 16 million hours of service annually to Americans with terminal illness and to their families. I am proud to be counted as one of these individuals and want to join in saluting my fellow volunteers.

Three years ago, I became a volunteer with Hospice of the Central Peninsula in our community. I was looking for a way to give back to the community. I wanted to feel like I was really helping someone -- that my time was worthwhile. I never imagined how fulfilling it could be. I went through 20 hours of training to become a hospice direct care volunteer.

For those of you who don't know, hospice is considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life. It involves pain management education, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the client's wishes. Emotional and spiritual support also is extended to the family and loved ones. Generally, this care is provided in the client's home or in a home-like setting. Hospice addresses all of the symptoms of illness, with the aim of promoting comfort and dignity.

Hospice volunteers make this special way of caring possible. Simply put, we are there to take care of whatever needs to be done. We are there to hold a hand and listen, or to take the client to their favorite place in the park or to read to them. We are there to run an errand or walk the dog. We are there to step in when a family member needs a break from caring for their loved one. And we are there for the family and friends after their loved one has passed away.

I have worked side by side with members of this community who devote their time -- and their hearts -- to the work of hospice. I have been witness to the work of angels, and they deserve our heartfelt appreciation.

People often ask "Isn't it depressing?" when I tell them I'm a hospice volunteer. These days, as we hear more and more about the end of life and what it means to have a good death, I smile and tell them "It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done."

Jim Saling, hospice volunteer

Kenai



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